BELLEVUE, WA-Owners of the Factoria Square shopping center here are hoping to drive more revenue by converting the mall’s existing parking lot into a pedestrian-friendly residential, office and retail plaza.

Plans for the proposed development, submitted to the city for review, call for 850 apartments, 1,700 new parking stalls, a six- to-eight story office building and 100,000 sf of retail space for small businesses. The plans also outline the possibility of a community center.

Craig Chang, asset manager for Factoria Square Limited Partnership, which has owned the property since 1990, says the proposed mixed-use development stems from the fact that Bellevue needs more rental housing and that suburban shopping malls are becoming a thing of the past.

Residents who live near the proposed site have expressed concern that the development would worsen an already congested traffic situation. Chang however, believes that the city’s $7 million plan to ease traffic through new turn lanes, a new traffic light and a cross walk would alleviate the problem.

Residents will be able to voice their thoughts at a Planning Department public hearing to be held Wednesday at the Factoria Mall Community Room. If approved, the development would be built in five phases over a 10-year span. Chang hopes to begin construction in early 2002.

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